WARSAW, POLAND – On September 20-21, the Counter ISIS Finance Group (CIFG) convened its 52 member states and observers in Warsaw, Poland to discuss the ongoing global efforts to counter ISIS financing. The CIFG was established in January 2015 as one of five working groups within the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, a broad international group formed to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS. This was the tenth meeting of this group co-chaired by the United States, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.
Below is a joint statement that can be attributed to leaders of the Counter ISIS Finance Group:
“The Global Coalition has made significant progress in the fight against ISIS. ISIS’s so-called caliphate has collapsed. The terrorist group has lost nearly all of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria. But, ISIS is now attempting to hide in the shadows, in Iraq and Syria, with branches, affiliates, and cells around the world. Accordingly, the work of the CIFG remains more important than ever, and the member nations committed today to intensify their efforts.”
“The finance working group is used by member countries to identify and disrupt ISIS’s ability to generate revenue and access financial systems. On the first day of the meeting, CIFG members shared information to continue building a common understanding of the evolving threat posed by ISIS. Members discussed specific successes in identifying terrorist financiers and bringing them to justice. They also shared specific information on funding mechanisms utilized in South and Southeast Asia, as well as in Europe. Ideas on best practices to address emerging trends were shared. The working group also discussed how to mitigate risks from ISIS’s potential exploitation of stabilization and reconstruction funding into Iraq and other affected countries. Members acknowledged the importance of preventing the trade in archeological property illegally removed by ISIS from Iraq and Syria and the value of recovery and reconstruction of cultural heritage in the stabilization process. On the second day of the meeting, delegates discussed the best ways to combat kidnapping for ransom, and how to effectively communicate the Coalition’s continued success against ISIS financiers.”
“Even as ISIS desperately seeks new sources of funding, it is adapting its techniques. Our Coalition must adapt as well. The CIFG’s tenth meeting added new member countries to the Coalition, enhanced collaboration among like-minded countries and multilateral organizations, and reinforced the fact that the CIFG continues to play an essential role in the Global Coalition’s broader fight to defeat ISIS.”